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The Children's Aid Society of the Catholic archdiocese of Vancouver : its origins and development, 1905 to 1953 Cote, Maurice Norbert

Abstract

The Children's Aid Society of the Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has now been in existence for forty-eight years. This study reviews its development from its origin in 1905 to the present day. Material for this purpose was collected from the minutes of the Executive Board of the Society, 1905 to 1953; annual reports for the years 1944 to 1948; statutes of British Columbia; personal interviews with the Director; and other related records and literature of the agency. In the course of its existence, the Society has expanded from an organization providing care only to children committed to it by court, to a social welfare agency which cares for both "ward" and "non-ward" children, provides a service to adoptive parents and unmarried mothers, and engages in family and preventive work. This study traces the increased participation of the Provincial Government in financing the Society, and in serving the Catholic population in those areas of British Columbia where the agency does not operate. It also reveals changes in views on child care. At first, most children in need of protection were placed in institutions. Later, emphasis was placed on foster homes. To-day, the agency shares the modern belief that certain children benefit more from institutional than foster home care. An appraisal of the Catholic Children's Aid Society shows that it has filled a definite need in the Catholic community within the overall framework of local agencies. Its efforts, however, have been hampered by a lack of foster and adoption homes, and a shortage of qualified personnel. The record indicates that more effective and continuous interpretation to the community is required if the agency is to improve its services.

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